Is that love I smell in the air? No, no it isn’t. V-Day has passed, and love is dead. All I smell are wilted roses, rotting chocolates, and tears of the heartbroken. Smells great to me! But that isn’t to say passion is not important. Take this episode for instance, my gravediggers and undertakers. It’s all about the lengths two men will go in the pursuit of their passion.
Tales from the Crypt
Season 2 Episode 3 “Cutting Cards”
Directed by Walter Hill
Starring Lance Henriksen, Kevin Tighe, Roy Brocksmith
Originally aired: April 21st 1990
Sourced from: Tales from the Crypt #32
The always amazing Lance Henriksen plays obsessive gambler Reno whose rival, Sam (played by Kevin Tighe) is equally consumed by the gambling bug. Reno walks into a gambling bar with no money and sees Sam sitting at a table, the two immediately re-spark a rivalry that has clearly been going on for some time.
To prove who is the better gambler, they opt to end the debate once and for all by playing Russian Roulette. However, after six rounds it appears either the gun or the bullet is malfunctioning and both survive the “bet.”
Deciding to take things even further, they instead choose chop poker as the solution to the debate. “What is chop poker?” you may be asking. Great question.
Chop poker, at face value, is a regular poker game with the same rules. However, the stakes are slightly higher. Instead of any monetary value, each bet is a body part that the loser has chopped off.
Yup, that’s right. Loser gets chopped up. It starts off simple enough with fingers, however things escalate quickly. The final scene shows Reno and Sam in a hospital playing chess with their mouths because neither of them have arms or legs.
On to the rating…
I don’t know how this episode made it to 20 minutes, but there wasn’t much story here. Lance Henriksen was fabulously over the top as Reno, but his performance alone wasn’t enough to save the episode.
It was a simple idea that maybe worked better as a comic, but the episode felt half hearted and lacked a lot of the qualities that make for good Crypt episode.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much more that can be said about “Cutting Cards”
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